Your risk of developing a knee injury increases with both use and age — repetitive motions can eventually strain even a healthy knee, and knee joints are often among the first body parts to show signs of aging through problems like osteoarthritis.
How can you protect those two little orbs that do so much for you?
1. Recognize that your knees are actually supporting most of your weight. Extra pounds put a lot more pressure on your knees while you’re walking or standing, so losing even a few pounds can help preserve the strength and health of your knees.
2. Stretch your thigh muscles. Rather than focusing on your knees (which run the risk of actually jamming bone against bone) give your thigh muscles a good stretch periodically — before you start work and a couple times during the day. You’ll decrease the tension that’s being put on the tendons around the knee and relieve some of the pressure on your delicate joints.
3. If you work in construction or other related industries, like plumbing or electrical work, you may spend 75 percent of your workday on your knees. While you might not be able to help your cramped conditions, you can take countermeasures to protect your knees:
- Move around frequently. Try to switch positions as often as possible given the space you’ve got.
- Make sure you stretch your leg muscles immediately after getting out of a cramped position.
- Be careful when you stand up — a sudden twist or push from your knees can produce an impact injury as serious as if you’d been knocked down in a football game.
- Make liberal use of personal protective items like knee pads, wedge cushions or other types of padding that will keep your knees from direct contact with tile or concrete floors.
Your knees can ultimately end your career if they suffer enough damage due to workplace safety issues and repetitive use injuries. If your knees have given all they have and you’re having a hard time collecting workers’ compensation benefits, an attorney can provide information on how to move your claim or appeal forward.
Source: www.hazmasters.com, “Taking care of your knees at work,” accessed Aug. 28, 2017